PW 468: Talking to one partner about another

Is it OK to vent to one partner about another partner? angry woman vintage on phone

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1:00 Poly in the News

8:00 Topic: Talking about one partner to another partner

Babbling B writes in to ask if it’s OK to vent to one partner about another, as long as it’s not gossiping. LustyGuy, L and Minx all sound in.

24:30 Wrap up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? 🙂 Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 424: My suggestion backfired! Now what?

lolcat_no_waiWhat to do when your well-intended relationship suggestion backfires

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1:00 Host chat and announcements

1:45 Poly in the News

4:00 Topic: My well-intended suggestion backfired. Now what?

A listener calls in to share what happened when he suggested Google Calendar as a solution to a relationship challenge. His partner, however, didn’t take the suggestion so well. So what does one do when a well-intended suggestion backfires or isn’t received in the spirit in which it was intended?

  • Focus less on finding better tools and more on improving communication.
  • Try listening rather than fixing.
  • Ask what she needs to be happy and healthy in the relationship.
  • Tell her what you need to be happy and healthy in the relationship.
  • Negotiate together—whoever turns down one suggestion has to offer the next one.
  • Slowly and sensitively explore her past baggage and yours.
  • Write your own user manual and encourage your partner to write hers.
  • Erin writes in response to episodes 420 on disabilities and identity to share a lifetime of dealing with disabilities while struggling with a poly/queer identity.
  • Doug writes in to share his preference for describing his son, who is on the autism spectrum.

12:05 Feedback on 420: Poly and identity

  • Erin writes in response to episodes 420 on disabilities and identity to share a lifetime of dealing with disabilities while struggling with a poly/queer identity.
  • Doug writes in to share his preference for describing his son, who is on the autism spectrum.

18:10 Happy Poly Moment

S writes in to share how episode 360 on crowdsourcing jealousy helped spawn a happy poly moment!

22:30 Wrap Up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? 🙂 Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

Ask Minx: How do I ask for what I want when I don’t want to get my hopes up?

Minx podcasting headshot 2013Minx–

There is a idea that it’s better to clearly articulate one’s own wants and needs. But… but at least for me there is an another side of this coin. Articulating wants raises expectations. If I’ve articulated my wants, it causes a lot of pain when “yes” stays just theoretical. I don’t know what to do with it. It seems that it is better to have no expectations, but I found no way to do it.

A Russian friend

Dear Russian–

It true that when we ask for what we want, we might get a “no,” a “not now” or even a “yes, but let me think about it for a while.” Asking for what you want does raise expectations, to be sure. It can be tough to get your hopes up. And we always say that you should never ask a question you can’t accept a “no” to.

Yes, you might be disappointed when you ask for what you want and don’t get it. But you also might be thrilled at the response! Either way, you are in better shape because you have done something powerful: you have faced your fear and shown your true self to your partner. Even if the response is negative, you can and should be proud that you were true to yourself. This takes great courage and will ultimately make you a better person and partner.

A few quotes to support my take:
“Life rewards those who move in the direction of greatest courage.” — Franklin Veaux.
“Fortune favors the brave.” –saying
“Don’t ask; don’t get.”  –my friend Laurie
Sure, it may seem easier not to ask for what you want because you’re afraid of hearing “no” or “not now.” But the price you pay for NOT asking for what you want is hiding your true self. You also lose the opportunity of what you *might* get if you asked for it.
Be brave. Ask. You might hear “no,” and that’s OK. You’ll live. But won’t it be better than never asking at all?

PW 404: Is he poly or just chicken?

89-Lolcats-FUNNY-EASTER-cat-WITH-CHICKEN-hat-DISGUISEDWhat do you do when the point of your vee isn’t communicating with your metamour?

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Introduction Under 18? Stop listening now and visit http://www.scarleteen.com

1:00 Announcements and Host Chat

5:35 Topic: Is he poly or just chicken?

S writes in to ask what to do. She’s been dating a guy for five months who has another girlfriend of 10 months. But S has found that she wants to move in with the guy and be his primary, and he purports to secretly agree with her plans but hasn’t disclosed anything to the 10-month girlfriend. What to do? Does he really want to move forward with his polyamory with S or is he just using the 10-month girlfriend as an excuse to keep things on hold or secret until he sees how things shake out?

Minx recommends:

  • Insist on honestly for all parties involved It’s the rare relationship that can build a foundation on a lack of honesty. Currently she is the target, but what if there is something he’s afraid to discuss with you later on? There is no excuse for a lack of honesty.
  • Insist he own his shit The point of a vee has an additional duty to be aware of the needs of the two other parties, and he is failing at that. He really needs to own his shit, face it, and get honest with both you and her about what he is afraid of and what he really wants. Even if he doesn’t know what he wants, this conversation simply must happen with you, him and her.
  • You can be honest If he won’t talk to her, you can be the brave one. You can talk to her honestly about what you want, even if it seems confrontational. You can step up and have the integrity that he doesn’t have and tell her what you want for yourself, with the understanding that just because you want it doesn’t mean you’ll get it (and the same is true for her desires, but isn’t it better that you hear them directly from her?).

15:30 Happy Poly Moment

  • Rowan shares a happy poly moment about having the bravery to hear about a metamour she didn’t she she was brave enough to hear about
  • Kris shares a happy poly moment about a sectional couch!
  • Benny shares a happy poly moment about meeting his boyfriend’s wife

23:30 Thanks

Thanks to John for the fun $69 donation!

24:30 Wrap up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? 🙂 Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 386: Telling the emperor he has no clothes

types-of-dishonesty-lolcat

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1:00 Announcements and Host Chat

  • OKCupid has added Relationship Type (mono/non-mono and mostly/strictly) under your details! Plus, you can specify “in an open relationship” (versus “seeing someone”)
  • I’ll be teaching at Debauchery April 25-27 in North Carolina

Topic: How do you tell the people you’re dating that their relationship is fucked up

G writes in to ask how to broach the topic of seeing some issues in the relationship of the couple she’s dating. If you see something unhealthy or concerning going on, is it your business? Should you just butt out? How can you tell if it’s a harmless quirk of the dynamic or a relationship-ending issue? And if you do decide to bring it up, how do you do that diplomatically?

This is a tough one! No one likes being told that their relationship appears unhealthy. But the general rules of relationship communication apply: if you see something you’re afraid to bring up, you absolutely should bring it up. But how?

I don’t have any magic plan for this one; it’s really tricky. So I applied the basic guidelines for bringing up any difficult topic:

  1. Set a time to talk
  2. Use “I” statements based on your own experience
  3. Acknowledge your limitations
  4. Refer to specific behaviors first
  5. Refer to your own experience
  6. Ask for insights

Happy Poly Moment

Harper shared a happy poly moment in which her mother chose to publicly acknowledge Harper’s poly relationship rather than avoiding it!

Wrap up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? 🙂 Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

Kicking Poly Drama in the Ass

Want to avoid poly drama? We had a great time at Winter Wickedness discussing what “drama” actually is and how to kick it on its ass for a drama-free poly relationship.

Full deck below:

And if you’re interested in having me present at your event, contact Minx at Poly Weekly

PW 368: Metamour cock block

What do you do when your metamour cuts off communications?

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1:00 Host chat with Minx and LustyGuy

9:00 Topic: Metamour cock block

Listener R writes in asking for advice on a situation in which her once-friendly metamour J asked for personal time and space that lead to a six-month communication blockade. The silence adversely affected both R and her partner’s (J’s husband) relationship. Question: how do you reopen lines of communication with someone who won’t talk to you anymore? Minx and LustyGuy suggest:

  • You can’t force someone to communicate with you, so it’s pointless to keep asking.
  • Do your best to take care of yourself and tend your own garden: deal with your own jealousy and insecurities.
  • Do your best to nurture the health of your relationship with R.

18:00 Happy Poly Moment

  • GreedyPaul shares a moment of joy at Camp Perv
  • Timothy shares some fun, snuggly HPMs derived from starting up a regular movie night with his poly family! “THIS is how poly should work, THIS is what I’ve been hoping for. It was a simple moment, but it was memorable.”

21:50 Feedback

  • Our estimable solo poly guru, AggieSez, calls in to respond to episode 364 on being in love and vetoed and recommends that even if your time with your partner is so rare that it seems a shame to bring up tough relationship stuff, ovary/man up and do it!
  • Emma asks about an issue mentioned in episode 365 on meetups: how do you deal with people feeling stuck next to someone they might not be interested in talking to?
  • Isha calls in to ask about how to handle a long-distance poly relationship, and LustyGuy offers some great advice:
    • Never underestimate the power of a distraction. Do something fun!
    • Make dates—schedule phone calls like a date, complete with dinner, wine and dress up for it.
    • Keep a paper journal every day and exchange it with your partner at your next meeting.
  • Southern Poly Gathering is a poly camping weekend happening October 17-20 in Florida—join a great group of polys!

Thanks!

Thanks to Elizabeth and Yani for their donations this week!

37:50 Poly music

Rolling out with a cool poly composition Can’t Help But Fly from Naima Penniman and A McNatt

Wrap up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? 🙂 Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 320: I hate my metamour!

Listener M writes in with a dilemma: what do you do when you love your girlfriend but hate your metamour?

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Introduction

Under-18 warning and redirection to Scarleteen

1:00 News and host chat

  • Welcome to our cohost, LustyGuy. Can you tell which Scotch he is sipping?

1:50 Topic: I hate my metamour!

M writes in to say that he finds his girlfriend’s new partner so repulsive that he hates the guy, which is not helped by the fact that the girlfriend revealed that the partner is trapped in a sexless marriage and believes that M and girlfriend are moving too quickly.

  • A drama queen? Much of the negative information on the partner (“Scary Clown”) came to M secondhand from the girlfriend. Always question why your girlfriend chooses to reveal unflattering information about a metamour secondhand. Is there a need for drama on her part? Relationship management skills are needed here.
  • Open lines of communication there is no line of communication open between Scary Clown and M. Of course he feels uncomfortable.
  • Responsibilities of the point The person at the point of the vee (here, the girlfriend) has additional responsibilities in terms of nurturing healthy relationships and conveying only the most relevant and supportive information to partners. However, this person should NEVER agree to act as mediator between the other two parties.
  • Setting boundaries the people at the edges of the vee need to set boundaries and be careful to express what they need rather than a simple “I don’t like so-and-so.” For that matter, the person at the point of the vee also needs to set boundaries such as “No saying that M and I aren’t good as a couple. That’s not supportive, and I won’t tolerate it.”

19:45 Feedback

Wayne writes in about an NPR piece on breasts. Audio and transcripts are here.

24:00 Wrapup

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? 🙂 Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 303: Poly communication tips with Kathy Labriola

Kathy Labriola, nurse, therapist and author of Love in Abundance, offers poly communication tips

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Introduction

Under 18? Stop listening now and visit http://www.scarleteen.com

1:00 Announcements

7:30 Interview: Kathy Labriola

Kathy Labriola, a poly counselor, nurse and hypnotherapist and author of Love in Abundance: A Counselor’s Advice on Open Relationships (also available at Greenery Press)

  • Essential communication skills include things like knowing what you need and communicating it directly (as soon as you know it). Why is this so hard?
  • What is metacommunication and why is it important?
  • What is at the heart of most poly communication breakdowns?
  • Why do we worry so much about jealousy and what is your advice on dealing with it?

36:25 Thanks

Thanks to H Opportunity, Brendan, Maui Kink for their donations and welcome CainO and Lisa to the Poly Weekly Playmates!

Wrapup


Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? 🙂 Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 302: When metamours attack

How to deal with a stonewalling and uncommunicative metamour

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Introduction

Under 18? Stop listening now and visit http://www.scarleteen.com

1:00 Announcements

2:45 Topic: When metamours attack

Joreth, Puck and Minx address a tough situation: J starts dating a guy who is in a relationship with an older man, a respected tantric guru. Upon meeting J, the guru declares that she and the guy cannot have sex. A bit later, J and the guy have sex. She asks the guy if the guru was OK with it and then assumes it’s OK to have sex with the guy. She attempts to contact the guru but doesn’t hear back.

A bit later, she and the guy mess around in the place the guy and the guru share. The guru comes home and bans all communication between her and the guy. She makes more attempts to get the three of them together, but the guru does not accept her invitation.

Where did communication fail and what can we do to prevent this happening in the future? We recommend:

  • Own the communication with both your partner and your metamour. NEVER rely on your partner to communicate with your metamour on your behalf. That’s your job.
  • Trust but verify.
  • Know your own boundaries and negotiate with all parties involved. You have a right to know what the boundaries are, why they are there and when/if they will change.

22:00 Feedback – Episode 299, Poly Professional Woman

  • Gary points out that the poly professional man can have challenges dating the busy professional poly woman!
  • Vir suggests taking a high-level view of the work load, distinguishing work-for-pay (including school and homework) and maintaining-the-home. He suggests tallying the hours spent on all aspects and rebalancing the load when the situation shifts. For example, look at:
    • Travel time to and from work/school
    • Working outside the home (job/classes)
    • Paid work at home (professional work/homework)
    • Non-paid work maintaining the home (cooking, cleaning, shopping)

28:00 Thanks

Thanks to Samuel for his donation this week!

Wrapup


Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? 🙂 Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

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